Urgent reforms needed to tackle Thailand’s education inequality

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Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Urgent action is needed to tackle education inequality and restore hope among Thailand’s younger generation, according to former prime minister Anand Panyarachun.

Speaking at The Scenario of Thai Society Future seminar, organised by the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Anand addressed the pressing need for reforms.

The seminar marked the 50th anniversary of the PDA’s establishment and provided a platform for Anand to highlight the significance of the youth in shaping a prosperous future for Thailand. He expressed concern over the increasing number of young people leaving the country in search of better opportunities, attributing this trend to a loss of faith in their homeland.

Anand pointed out that the younger generation has become disillusioned due to widespread immorality in various sectors, including the selfishness of politicians, social inequality, and the erosion of democratic values. He emphasised that this disillusionment has led to a loss of trust in Thailand’s legislative, administrative, and judicial systems.

In his speech, Anand stressed the importance of building a society based on equality, particularly by ensuring equal access to quality education. He argued that providing a decent education is crucial for guaranteeing equal opportunities for all.

“People are born equal as human beings, but when it comes to certain ages like three to four years old, inequality starts to emerge when rich kids are sent to learn in good kindergartens while many poor kids cannot access good education.

“Even among those kids who attend kindergartens, they also face inequality regarding the school they studied at. Such inequality has been extended to the university level.”

Equal opportunity

Anand further elaborated that inequality in education results in unequal opportunities later in life, making it imperative to address these disparities to ensure equal access to opportunities for all.

Broadening his discussion, the former PM acknowledged that while every government has good intentions to improve the country, these intentions must be translated into action rather than remaining mere rhetoric. He urged the government to collaborate with the private sector, which he believes has been more progressive in providing equal opportunities over the past three decades, reported Bangkok Post.

“All sectors must work together, and if such things are accomplished, the younger generation will have second thoughts before leaving and instead have hope in their country.”

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